30 Mei 2024

Norman Lear Turns 101, Says He’s ‘Entering His Second Childhood’

3 min read

TV legend Norman Lear is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame and received numerous accolades for his work on film and television, and today he reached another monumental milestone. The famed television screenwriter and producer has turned 101. Lear took time during his birthday to share an Instagram post with his followers where he joked about “entering his second childhood” and shared some words of wisdom about living in the moment.

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“Norman Lear here, dribbling a bit because he’s entering his second childhood,” he joked. “I have just turned 101, and that is, they tell me, my second childhood. It feels like that, in terms of the care I am getting. I get the kind of care at this age that I see children getting. And so, I am now a 101-year-old toddler, and I am thinking about two little words that we don’t think about often enough: over and next. When something is over, it’s over, and we have the joy and privilege of getting on to the next [thing]. And If there were a hammock in between those two words, it would be the best way I know of identifying living in the moment. That hammock between over and next. I am living in that moment now, with all of you.” He concluded: “Bless all of you, and our America.”

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Lear made his way to the world of television in the 1950s and has remained a constant fixture. Throughout the 1970s, Lear was attached to a number of successful series: adapting shows like All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Good Times. Along with Bud Yorkin, Lear created Maude, a spinoff of All in the Family that starred Bea Arthur as the titular character. Lear also developed and executive produced One Day At a Time, and served as a producer on Netflix’s 2017 remake of the sitcom. Most recently, it was confirmed that Lear would serve as an executive producer for a Who’s The Boss? revival.

Through his illustrious career, Lear has been tied to over 100 projects and earned numerous accolades, including six Primetime Emmys, two Peabody Awards and the Golden Globe Carol Burnett Award.

Norman Lear Reflects On a ‘Different America’

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Writers Guild Strike signs licensed under CC BY 2.0
Andy / Flickr

As the birthday wishes from actors and writers rolled in for Lear, he took time (through a separate video post) to reflect on his first WGA strike in 1960. He captioned the short video: “After just watching a group of writers and actors on both coasts wish me a happy birthday, I can’t help but think back to my very first WGA strike in 1960. It was a different America then and has me reflecting on all of the Americas I’ve known for 101 years.”

As he mentions in the video, Lear has always considered himself a progressive. In 1980, Lear founded the advocacy group People For the American Way as a response to the emerging religious-right political movement. Today, the organization continues its efforts to promote freedom of expression, civic engagement, fair courts, and legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people.